Dreissigacker lone US biathlete in women’s pursuit

Seeking their first biathlon medal in Olympics history, Team USA has its work cut out for it with only one entrant qualifying for the women’s 10km pursuit Monday.

Emily Dreissigacker is the only American biathlete in the field, having qualified for the pursuit with her 51st-place finish in Saturday’s sprint race.

The 29-year-old from Morrisville, Vermont, hit nine of 10 targets in that first biathlon competition of the PyeongChang Games. With the top 60 finishers from the sprint qualifying for the pursuit, fellow Americans Clare Egan (61st), Susan Dunklee (66th) and Joanne Reid (86th) failed to make the cut.

According to TeamUSA.org, Dreissigacker comes from Olympic bloodlines. Her mother competed in rowing at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics, while her dad rowed in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Her older sister also competed in biathlon at the Sochi Games in 2014.

Biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, has the dubious distinction of being the only sport at the Winter Olympics in which the U.S. has never won a medal.

The best individual finish any American biathlete has had at the Olympics came four years ago when Lowell Bailey, who is competing in his fourth Olympics in PyeongChang, placed eighth in the men’s 20km individual in 2014.

However, the mixed relay and women’s relay teams finished eighth and seventh, respectively, during those same Olympics. And with the Russian women’s relay team being disqualified from their fourth-place finish, the U.S. women can technically lay claim to sixth place in Sochi.